Tourists returning to the UK from Spain must be quarantined for two weeks. The British government announced this tonight, British media report.
Spain is removed from the list of safe countries. “We have always been clear that we would immediately remove a country if it is necessary,” a government spokesman told the BBC. The measure applies from midnight.
In the UK, countries decide individually on their quarantine measures. The UK government confirmed that the quarantine obligation applies to all countries in the kingdom, after Scotland and Northern Ireland announced the measure earlier in the evening. Spain had only been taken off the list of risky countries a few days ago.
Spain is one of the European countries where the number of infections with the coronavirus is increasing again. However, there are major regional differences. An increase is recorded especially in Catalonia, Aragon and the Basque Country. That is also what the Spanish government is now emphasizing in a response. Spain is a country with “localized, isolated and controlled outbreaks,” said a spokesperson, but “respects the UK’s decision”.
Earlier today Norway also introduced a quarantine obligation for travelers from Spain. Several countries tightened up their travel advice to certain Spanish regions such as Aragon and Catalonia.
British tourists are an important source of income for Spain. Of the 84 million tourists who visited Spain last year, 18 million were from the UK.